I can’t remember what I was doing when I heard this concept, but I was shocked. I felt dumb. Why hadn’t I thought of that? Why had I concerned myself more with forgiving other people than ever thinking about forgiving myself?
Now you may be wondering why I would need or want to forgive myself or even why you might need or want to forgive yourself; I know there is a lot of emotion when it comes to forgiveness. We frequently consider forgiveness only when somebody has wronged us, but forgiving someone isn’t just about what somebody has done. It can also be about what somebody hasn’t done. That somebody can be yourself.
I remember the feelings I had when I heard of this concept. I felt possibility. I felt hope. I felt peace. And, I also felt sadness.
Why hadn’t I thought of forgiving myself? Why hadn’t I considered forgiving myself to aid in my healing? What would I want or need to forgive myself for?
This thought also brought up feelings of regret. I’ve tried my hardest not to let myself regret anything in life, but I’m learning that just isn’t realistic. I do have regrets. Even if those regrets would have completely changed my life, they exist. I can, and I want to forgive myself for the things I regret.
For example, I have realized that I regret not sticking to being a better student through college and applying myself more. I regret not taking charge and finding mentors while in school that would be able to provide guidance that I felt and feel was lacking in my life. I can forgive myself and acknowledge that I was doing the best that I could with what I knew at that time in my life.
I also regret behaving like a victim for a lot of my life. This one makes me sad. I wanted so much not to be like my parents, but I didn’t have the confidence in myself to overcome the victim mindset until recently. And as I type this, I am struggling with the victim mindset towards a situation with work. This is one of those things that I will always struggle with since it was the first mindset I was ever taught. I can forgive myself and acknowledge that while I was doing the best I could with what I knew, I am growing every single day, and I am living less and less of a life stuck with the victim mindset. And, I want to forgive the future me who defaults to the victim mindset. I don’t like it, but it will happen when I least expect it.
I am learning how to forgive myself for not sticking up for myself for so many years. I want to forgive myself for being so wrapped up in the drama in the moment that I made decisions that I wish I had made differently. I want to forgive myself for living a life for other people rather than realizing I am worthy of living my life for myself.
I can’t say that I have forgiven myself for any of this, but I can tell you that it is a concept I am adding to the growth that I continue to pursue.
I want to challenge you to consider whether any of your regrets or anything that you have been ashamed of from your life is worth you stopping and working on forgiving yourself. It’s not about anybody else knowing. It’s about giving yourself grace and forgiveness and the ability to move forward a little bit lighter than you were.
I believe that if we start to forgive ourselves, we make space for more bountiful seasons in our lives.